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Internet crimes may lead to student facing felony charges

Teenagers in South Carolina often get in to mischief; however, sometimes mischief tends to escalate into something much more serious that can have devastating consequences. A 17-year-old student of a high school in another state may be facing felony charges after causing mayhem on the computer network of a school district. Convictions for felony charges resulting from Internet crimes may mean juvenile detention or jail time, and convicted felons may be stripped of many rights, while a criminal record will likely be a haunting factor in the convicted individuals' professional and personal lives.

The sheriff's office reported that the student paid another party to launch a cyber attack on the school district's computer network. When the Distributed Denial of Service was launched, it flooded the network with Internet traffic originating from many sources, making it inaccessible for users. Many students lost information that formed part of their studies, and Standard Achievement tests had to be repeated multiple times. The attack made online textbooks and classes unavailable. The administration of the school district was also affected.

After the cyber attack was traced to the student, he was suspended, and school officials reported that expulsion may follow. According to the sheriff's office, the teenager will likely have to face a felony computer crime charge, and he may have to spend some months in a detention facility for juveniles. Furthermore, the teenager's family will be held responsible for the school district's financial losses.

The office of the sheriff stated that this teenager may even face federal charges and urged parents to discuss the consequences of actions such as Internet crimes with their children. South Carolina parents who face similar circumstances may benefit from retaining the services of experienced criminal defense attorneys. A lawyer will assess the circumstances and argue against the state's case in an attempt to lessen the consequences of the felony charges.

Source: ktvb.com, "Student accused of cyber attack on West Ada district", May 15, 2015

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